First 'Nexus Prime' photo leak shows buttonless device with 720p display

Who said it was iPhone day? Here we have what looks like the first leaked photo of the next Nexus device, the Samsung 'Nexus Prime', powered by the next version of Android, codename Ice Cream Sandwich. The shot, obtained by GSMArena, appears to confirm rumors of a device with Honeycomb-style software buttons in place of the traditional hardware keys used by current Android phones.

The leaked photo would also seem to back up reports of the Prime shipping with a 720p (1280x720) display, apparently in a 4.6-inch chassis, according to GSMArena. As you'll see in the image, that makes for an ample DPI of 320, all but matching the iPhone 4's Retina Display, which manages 326 DPI.

That's about all we can tell for sure given the small size of the image. If we were to speculate further, we might say the trim around the chassis seems more metallic than that of the Nexus S. Perhaps it'll ship with a metal or plastic chrome back, or maybe it's just a trick of the light. Only one thing's for certain -- all will be revealed at Samsung's Unpacked event next week at CTIA.

Source: GSMArena

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Can't wait
  • holy shit. it does exist.
  • ZOMG so esited! :)
  • yes !!! thats enough to get me excited , cant wait
  • wait , 4.3" what the f???? I want the big screen
  • It's not 4.3. 720p at 4.3 inches has a DPI of 341.5. This has a DPI of 320 (see the blurrycam header photo). It's probably as big as the SGS2E4GT, at 4.58 inches. That gets us closer to 320.
  • This is the sexiest thing I ever saw...
  • Too much bezel. Don't need that much bezel on the bottom for a buttonless device. I'd probably take it either way it's just that less bezel is going to be the trend in the coming years.
  • The bezel is there for maybe a really good good speaker...... Duhhhh
  • you need somewhere to wrap your fingers/case around it...and/or it could be a gesture area.
  • goodbye Thunderbolt, it's been...well...not as pleasant as i'm imagining this phone to be.
  • I'm with ya. Can't wait for this thing to emerge onto the market. This thing will take the wind out of the sails for the IPhone. Hold on cell phone junkies, this is just about to get good.
  • iWho? Android will continue it's climb with ICS and beyond. This is my next phone. Incredible has treated me well, but time for bigger and better! iPhone is running it's course, it's Android time.
  • This thing can't come soon enough. I've been fighting with the lack of internal storage on my Nexus One for a while, now. I just hope they add the microSD card back that they took away on the Nexus S.
  • Same here, it would be nice if they added external SD card support
  • I know what you mean! I just updated Flash on my N1 and may have to uninstall it - or more of my other apps - because of low space. Flash is over 17MB now, and every update to all the other apps keeps making them larger too. I'm hoping for at least 8 gigs or more of internal storage and the microSD. After all, it has to be ready for larger OS updates in the future too.
  • I want it
  • hmm pretty disappointed that it only has a 4.3 inch display if it has no buttons, after using a GS2 Epic 4G Touch with 4.5 I will not and can't go back to 4.3. I have just tried that yesterday with the att GS2 and its just wasn't enough especially since this has no buttons.
  • The article says its 4.6. Why do you guys keep saying it's only 4.3. Can't read?
  • If the screen shows as 1184x720, with the buttons, it would be 1280x720. 1280x720 with a PPI of 320 would be a hair under 4.6". They can't actually call it 720p if it isn't 1280x720. I'd bet anything the screen height reported in this pic is the height minus the buttons.
  • something about this dont seem right to me either, what phone shows these type of numbers anyways ? if they do , where would you go to find it , i just looked all over my droid charge and i cant find it
  • Install Quadrant Standard and look at device information ...shows up there
  • whats the mathematical formula to find the actual size of the screen?
  • sqrt(xres^2 + yres^2)/ppi = screen size in inches. For example in this situation sqrt(1280^2 + 720^2)/320 = 4.59"
  • Can somebody explain to me how it's a good thing that Android is ditching 4 dedicated buttons for just 3 buttons that eat up a good part of the screen? I already don't like the 16:10 aspect ratio very much, and the Honeycomb-ish bar will just take it down to 16:9 and eat up a ton of screen real estate in landscape mode on an already small-ish screen. Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just do not see the benefit.
  • Yeah, you're missing a lot. Let me make sense of this for you guys. The screen on the Prime will be 4.65 inches and have a resolution of 720x1280. However, the bottom 96 pixels of the screen will be used to display the standard Android buttons. If you do the math and subtract 96 pixels from the bottom of the screen, that effectively leaves you with a 4.3 inch display with a resolution of 720x1184. This is why you are seeing some sites report the Prime screen as 4.3 inches. The 4.3 inch 720x1184 portion of the screen used to display the OS has roughly the same aspect ratio as a 480x800 screen, so don't worry, the screen won't look super narrow. And in landscape mode, the buttons will remain on the same portion of the screen, just like regular capacitive buttons do. They won't rotate down and make your screen look ultra short and wide. Understand now or is there something else I can clarify?
  • Thanks for the clarification about the lack of rotation in landscape mode. That makes a lot more sense. What I still don't understand is what the benefit is to use part of a (relatively) expensive capacitive touchscreen just to display some buttons, especially if the bezel below them is still present and is just wasted space. Are the buttons easier to use or something if they're on a real screen instead of just being capacitive? Does it simplify the manufacturing? What's the point? It also seems like those buttons will be annoying when trying to watch video unless they can be dimmed away completely like the capacitive buttons can be. I'm hoping to make the switch from a Pre 2 to this phone, so my experience with Android is relatively limited, but it seems to me that I'm very much going to miss that fourth search button that seems to be disappearing in ICS since I'm addicted to Just Type in webOS. Is there still a quick way to search for stuff in ICS?
  • Developers will be able to choose when the buttons appear and when will not appear. Currently, with fixed buttons you technically never have access to the bottom 96. With the new layout, once you're in a true full-screen mode (think YouTube, Netflix, Angry Birds, etc.) you just gained another 96 in real estate. I would caution those who desire a truly bezel-free phone. If the screen actually went to all four edges, the fingers you use to hold the phone would inadvertently "click" icons/items that are also close to the edge. You need the ability to slightly wrap your fingers around the front edge. Heck, a true edge-to-edge screen would render 90% of all cases useless as their front "lip" would now interfere with the touchscreen.
  • One thing I notice when using the Xoom with Honeycomb and software buttons is that the row of buttons can change depending on the app and what their function is. This can be very handy and more useful than the fixed hardware buttons. One example of this is the legacy menu button for more options. It doesn't show up unless there is an actual menu to use in an app. With the four fixed buttons on the phones, I always have to tap the menu button just to see if there is extra options, and if nothing happens when I press it, I always end up pressing it a few more times to make sure it wasn't because my touch didn't register.
  • Okay, I can see where that would be useful.
  • Well it's a 4.6" screen so real estate won't be much of an issue (especially if there is some sort of full screen mode baked in)
  • Wait those are software buttons? They look like theyre on the bezel to me. They look like regular capacitive buttons. Also way too much bezel.
  • After looking closely, you can see where the black part of the buttons stops and where the bezel starts so it is on the screen.
  • I was about to say the same thing. The black around the buttons (on screen) is a slightly lighter black than that at the bottom of the phone (the bezel). The line is hard to see but its there.
  • 4.3"? That makes me so happy. I don't think I could have taken a 4.65" display. I applaud Samsung for managing to get such a high resolution in a smaller package. Other manufacturers have had luck 4.5" at minimum. Say what you want about their design, but the tech the produce and ft into small packages are incredibly amazing.
  • the screen is 4.56". it just looks and acts like a 4.3" because of the on-screen navigation buttons. 1184 x 720 = 322 dpi at 4.3"
    1280 x 720 = 322 dpi at 4.56" the missing 96 pixels are the on screen buttons
  • If it matches or exceeds the specs of the SGSII, ill be getting one.
  • Maybe it's a 4.3" screen on the body of a 4" phone (such as the Nexus S)? I think that would be the sweet spot for most consumers as it wouldn't be a huge phone.
  • Where in the article does it say 4.3" screen? It mentions 4.6".
  • That's the only pic I needed to know that this will be my next phone. omfg I got goosebumps, can't wait. Good-bye OG Droid, you've been a good friend for the past 2 years but it's time for me to upgrade.
  • the 3 button layout doesnt look that attractive to me.
  • It's hard to really tell for sure, but this phone looks pretty thin too. That's what I was looking for really. I was thinking of getting the Nexus or the Droid HD/Razr depending on what the Nexus looked like. If this is the Nexus, this looks pretty good. I agree that the bottom bezel seems a little excessive though.
  • I hope its fake, that much bezel makes it harder to type in landscape.
  • Hope T-Mobile gets this as the Prime or G3:) cant wait!!!
  • OMG, Money just ignited in my pocket!
  • I say it's a fake unless they decided to go with regular LCD screen, which I doubt. The black background looks grey and there's light bleed at the bottom.
  • Please read the original source.
  • I feel like there has to be a decent bezel on the phone if you have a absolutely no buttons. Do you always want to be manhandling the screen with no choice? People are always complaining about something. You reaaaally notice 2cm of screen size? I mean damn.
  • sweet. i love HTC but will consider this phone if it comes to Sprint. i wonder - 1. LED indicator?
    2. internal microSD card slot?
    3. FM Radio chip?
    4. display size 4.3" or 4.5"+?
  • Anyone else think this looks like a photo shopped nexus s......?? Cause that body looks pretty dang similar to the nexus s. I'm sure someone really good with Photoshop cooked this picture up to get everyone even more excited and take away from the iPhone event. I call FAKE
  • honestly looks like a photoshopped ipod touch to me. same light bleed at bottom, same thin chrome bezel with volume buttons on left and although hard to tell looks like it has the same ridiculous contour along the edges that makes the device thinner on the edges.
  • That isn't light bleed people. This app has a grey gradient as the background. That's why the "bleed" magically stops at the buttons, which are part of the same screen.
  • Another Samsung failer
  • Your almost 40 and like a crappy football team, what and/or who is actually failing here.
  • it's 4.6, not 4.3. Read the original article
  • duplicate post
  • I am thoroughly confused about the screen size and pixel density. The screenshot is clearly from the app Dev Tools -> Configuration. My HTC EVO (with CM7) shows the following numbers:
    ydpi=254.0 EVO, with 800x480 4.3", has pixel density of 217dpi. How can I get to that actual 217dpi from the above numbers? What I'm saying is the reported densityDpi probably has nothing to do with actual pixel density and cannot be used to calculate the screen size.
  • Good work and very good points! I just looked at my Atrix in that menu and my values don't calculate out to the true 4" screen when I use the displayed density either. I think it's safe to say you can't get the screen size simply from these values.
  • You are correct. The density reported here is used by the Android OS and has nothing to do with actual screen size or density. Every 480x800 Android phone uses a software density of 240 regardless of screen size. Every 720x1280 Android phone will use a density of 320 in software, regardless of screen size.
  • (Sqrt((800^2) + (480^2)))/4.3 = 216.97
  • my guess is that a half inch or so of the display will be available for the collapsible "non-capacitive capacitive soft buttons". so they will appear when you want/need them and they will disappear when not. kind of like the old Palm Tungsten T3 "virtual graffiti" buttons/area which could be called up or put down as needed - manually or automatically depending on the application or status. this way you get maximum display size for your form factor size "buck". also - perhaps these soft buttons will be customizable. SWEET!
  • Just get it out and we shell see ups up??
  • Just hope this device has the 4.3 inch display, anything larger then that is just too big. I think that phones need to be able to fit in your pocket and be comfortable to use with one hand. I have very large hands and I still think anything over 4.3 starts to be just too uncomfortable to use with one hand or put in your pocket. I can not wait for the new Nexus device. Google and Nexus put together the best handsets, I have owned every Nexus phone and will continue to ad to my collection. Without Google there would not be a mobile phone, that is the bottom line.
  • this is America, jack! we want the biggest and best of everything! bring on the 5" displays!!!
  • I TÔLD YOU SO!!! no hardware buttons!!! been saying it from the start on XDA!
  • on the other hand,it looks like a nexus s with the HW buttons turned off. even if thats true. id stil fucking want it!!(the rom/ICS that is)
  • Am I the only one who's going to miss the trackball?
  • most android phones didnt even had one.. non of the nexus phones did..
  • My Nexus One has a trackball. I love that I can customize the colour of its LED for different app notifications. And I use it for more precise navigation on website elements (e.g. to pick out a link on a page not designed specifically for mobile/touch, scroll through drop-down lists etc.)
  • thaTS a old phone.and its a track pad.not ball ;)
  • Seriously dude?!? You should google a little before you post!
  • wow i just tipped this into engadget and they sent me an snobby email saying that they refuse to publish this because it is not real!!! wow really. even if it is not real it is still news. But if you take a look at engadgets website there are about 10 articles about how the iphone could look...
  • It's pretty common knowledge that Engadget are iPhone fans. (Though they shouldn't be.)
  • What do you expect, after all its truly is iphone day and the world is awaiting the unveiling of the holy phone. Next week hopefully will be Google time in the spotlight.
  • What do you expect, after all its truly is iphone day and the world is awaiting the unveiling of the holy phone. Next week hopefully will be Google time in the spotlight.
  • What do you expect, after all its truly is iphone day and the world is awaiting the unveiling of the holy phone. Next week hopefully will be Google time in the spotlight.
  • It makes even more excited, it surely appeals to me! Can't wait to watch the announcement!
  • Holy Monstrous Bezel, Batman!
  • Nice but wish it was bigger then 4.3
  • It the screen should be five inches to compensate for the software buttons.
  • I’m new to the smart phone world so you can take this with a grain of salt, but for the people out there that have already started complaining about this device before its release, are you kidding me? Really! I know you guys have to have something to debate here or none of this would even be interesting to us all I guess but please. I have a Samsung Charge with a pretty great screen and decent battery life but it does have a tendency to restart on me randomly. Not bad but definitely annoying at times. It seems to have difficulties with doing too much at once. Probably low RAM and too much non-removable bloat ware from the carriers. Just don’t know now, but what I do know is that these devices do so much more than we ever thought was possible 10 short years ago and I find it difficult to see some of you complaining about the size of a bezel or whether or not it has a 4.3 vs. 4.59 screen and that being a deal breaker. As they say on the NFL, Come on Man! Bottom line, iphone users love the simplicity and reliability of their phones. They just seem to work well so we buy them for our parents and kids. On the other hand, Android users love the openness and customizations of this platform. I’m in that camp too. The winner of the smart phone market going forward will be a device that has both qualities. I want a device that I can personalize to my tastes but has the reliability to not shut down on me a couple times a day because I asked it to open a web page while I was listening to Tune-In Radio. If the Nexus Prime can be a reliable Android with a decent battery, and can be perceived as being as reliable as the iphone, then maybe it will be the winner going forward regardless of what the bezel looks like. Also keep in mind these companies are trying to pack in a lot of hardware crap to make them do everything we are expecting of them. Large battery, LTE radios, dual cams and everything else. They have to find room for all of that so it’s not always going to be about the screen. How they fit them all into such a great looking small form factor still amazes me because I started my career installing the original Motorola cellular’s in the 80’s. My advice to everyone, be happy with what they can do, not what they can’t! Have a nice day. Go Longhorns!
  • tooo long.did not read! :3
  • 2nd dat
  • The lack of reading comprehension in the comments section is really making me sad. Like on a human level.
  • I picture apps that freeze and make the buttons become non responsive resulting in a lot more battery pulls. When an app freezes now I can usually hit the home button and kill the app. Even something like the Web browser. Getting rid of all buttons isn't good IMO but I will adapt. The buttons were kind of an iconic Android thing. I guess maybe some other OS got it right the first time or more close to right... Hopefully these soft buttons are part of the OS and not part of each app. Then at least their responsiveness would be tied to the OS rather than the app.
  • Unfortunately this is almost certainly fake, the light bleed gives it away. Why is the black screen of the top part with the text slightly gray when the black background with the buttons is pure black?? Fake or not its far more convincing than that themed rom we saw a video of ;)
  • thats just a shade my friend ;) look on the right side of the black area.yep starting be gray again(there is a light sourc a couple of CM away. but stil.hell this is better than that ugly rom :D and i want this!! for my nexus s(suposing this might be a nexus s,looking at the bavel and curved display(yes!! didnt you guys see that?)though a curved display has been rumored on some sites.
  • already looks beautiful :D
  • Honestly, I feel sorry for any Apple fanboy who wouldn't seriously consider this baby after such a let-down by Apple today.
  • With all do respect , I prefer the good ol' capactive buttons
    This will look like the Nokia N9 I've a question, when the phone stop responding & you need to forceclose what ever you do , do you have to do a battery-pull ?
    Because let's face it , the screen will stop responding & the new buttons are software buttons , wont that make em unusable?
  • yeah........ ugh.. idunno why they have to go buttonless... scared ICS might be a small failure.. =(
  • What does it say that the mere sight of a corner of the Prime is more exciting than an entire iPhone keynote!?
  • That picture really gets me excited for the Prime. it looks so crystal clear and sharp, and the curved frame design is sweet too, as well as those cool futuristic looking menu buttons. This looks like a real game changer for being the first Super-Smartphone. And then Apple comes out with the iPhone4S, LOL, compared to the prime it's just sad honestly.
  • For all of you worrying about the problem with apps freezing and disabling the soft buttons, think about the entire bottom bar as the taskbar in windows. When an application in windows freezes the taskbar still works. In fact you use the taskbar to terminate the application. As long as google is smart they kept the soft buttons independant of the apps.
  • Good Times *hugs my Nexus*